Friday, January 15, 2016

Jimmie got me a book

Jimmie's on the right
So, my dear friend Jimmie

gave me a honest to goodness, paper, have- to - turn - the - page book for my birthday.

Now, several years ago, I gifted myself a Kindle.  Even then, I said, "I still love real books, I will never give up real books."  And I meant it.  But...somehow...

Well, it was gradual.

It started with just the novelty of the thing: "I can carry THOUSANDS of books in this everywhere I go!" and then it became just so easy to buy them and load them directly to the thing.  I was still a frequenter of the library, though, because I really do love books.  But, then my local library became a de facto homeless shelter for rude, smelly men who took up all the spaces on the bike rack, aggressively panhandled, parked themselves in all the cushy chairs by the magazines and generally camped out.

So...I stopped going to the library.

We have LOTS of books, however (the Rickster and I) and I have long made a habit of re-reading The Stand and have my own copy of the author's expanded edition that was my go-to.  But, then...they came out with that in a Kindle edition.

So, largely, I have kind of given up on real books over the last few years.  So, I was truly giddy when Jimmie sent me a book.  A really good book -- In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson.  I gobbled it up and would find myself randomly sniffing it.

So, then My Girls (Jimmie, Wonnie - using Jimmie's name for her. and Bacon--who had a different moniker previously, but who will henceforth be Bacon) and I started this little book club together and I got a little OCD about it (NO! I hear you saying, surely not!).  The book club started with a cool list of books to be read in the year in a number of different categories.  One category was a book from the library.  One was "The First Book You See in a Book Store".

Now, the Rickster has never stopped being a person who goes to book stores and the library and he'd told me that the library had been revamped and is now pleasantly free of homesteading urban outdoorsmen.  So, I went to the library.  I swan I almost think I heard a chorus of angels singing when I walked in.  I renewed my library card and got the next book on my personal "To Read" list.

I then went to the book store.  Now, there aren't many of those left  It seems more used/rare/antique places than a place that sells new books, but Books-A-Million is still kicking.  So I went there.  Quickly made note of the first book I saw and left before I could spend all my money.

Now?  This is how I will spend the next little while.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sometimes people will surprise you...and sometimes you'll surprise yourself

Nurse Bananahammock means business.

I have a well earned rep as a nurse who -- while I do feel and show compassion for my patients --  feels that an emergency department is for emergencies and I do not have a lot of tolerance for shenanigans in the form of acting out, cursing, rudeness, etc.

Recently, I had a little old POIAGG who from the moment they were wheeled into the department was just rude and downright mean.  Shouting at everyone, saying, "I don't even want to be here, that one (pointing to spouse) made me come in.  I just want to go home!"  POIAAG was brought in for shortness of breath, but it was hard to believe with the constant stream of just ugly comments that kept being shouted.

Thankfully s/he wasn't my patient.

However, s/he was the patient of my "neighbor".  So, when that nurse was headed off to lunch, I got to deal with little Mr/s. POIAAG.  My neighbor, being a stellar nurse, had just made sure all her patients were tended, vital signs up to date and no pending orders, so expected (and in fact suggested) that I would not have to engage any of them, just keep a lookout.

As it turns out, Mr/s. POIAAG started shouting out that nurse's name.  I heartily wanted to ignore the shouts and heed my colleague's advice, but I just couldn't.  You never know when something can go really badly. So, I took several deep breaths, said a prayer and pledged to myself that I would not allow this grumpy old geezer to get to me.

I went in the room to find the call light not in reach -- not this nurse's normal MO. I discovered why when I attempted to attach it to the siderail, s/he grabbed it and threw it onto the floor, saying, "Don't put that in my face."  I attempted to explain that having the call light close would alleviate the need to shout for someone who may not be around and provide help from anyone who was available.  S/he shouted at me and said, "I want out of this bed and I want to go home!"  I said, "Well, you certainly have the right to leave and go home any time you want.  But you have been short of breath, so you probably ought to see what's going on (s/he ended up being diagnosed with blood clots in the lungs). S/he said, I don't want to just lay here, it's not comfortable!  My back hurts and I want to sit up!"  As s/he had already refused to allow staff to keep monitoring equipment attached and had also removed the supplemental oxygen that had been placed, s/he was now an alarming shade of gray-ish

I kept my voice calm and soothing and made a couple of suggestions about ways we could make the patient comfortable and s/he had no inclination to do any of them.  So, I very calmly said, "If you do plan to stay here, you have 2 choices -- allow me to help you become more comfortable or stay where you are."

Eventually we got the patient up to a chair, but in doing so s/he became very short of breath and actually reached for the oxygen tubing and replaced it.

I then heaped blankets on and let the patient vent for a minute about the ordeal they had suffered -- recent diagnosis of cancer and all the attendant fear and side effects from treatment and frustration at lost independence.  I began to feel for this patient in a way I hadn't when it as just an angry voice screeching down the hallway.

S/he had also allowed me to put monitoring equipment back in place and update vital signs.  After a few minutes, s/he reached up arms in the universal sign of "I want a hug" and pulled me close and cried.  "I'm not a mean person."

Nah, s/he isn't.  But, it was easy to believe s/he was when I had no idea what was prompting such ugliness.

Hurting people hurt people.  I know this, but sometimes we need a reminder.

Don't worry, Nurse Bananahammock isn't becoming a bleeding heart, but sometimes I need reminding that everybody feels hurt and scared and vulnerable sometimes and sometimes they just need to feel that someone else gets it.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Reason has been Trumped by hype

I keep trying to take solace in the fact that 75% of even Republicans can't stand him (count me in that number), he'll never be elected. Because I have to think 100% of dems would never consider voting for him.

He's the best possible chance Hillary Clinton has of being elected in a landslide.

...and, at the risk of sounding like a tinfoil hat wearer...he donated a LOT of money to her in the past. And she went to his wedding. May be nothing more than fuel for the Tea Partiers', and Big L Libertarians' shrill claims that the GOP and the Dems are actually all of a piece (I don't agree).

This could be the most brilliant campaign strategy ever. Maybe somebody in Hillary's camp realized that you can't actually underestimate the stupidity of people in crowds. Convince Trump to run as a Republican, even though he's always donated more $ to dems and ensure a Clinton victory. Play to his ego to get him to run. Must be pretty easy. Make him be the focus of every news story and hide any and all information that might be uncovered about her own illegal activities and/or complete incompetence as a Secretary of State. The fact that so many have become so polarized and so completely set in their own ideologies that they can't or won't even consider compromise is what has brought us here. Well, that combined with the fact that the new generations seem to think that voting for president has no more important implications than voting for their favorite on a "reality" show. That's how this election will likely be won -- popularity not who is going to be the best chief executive. And, we'll deserve what we get.